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Romney & Santorum: My fence will be bigger than your fence

February 26, 2012Posted in Blog, News

Romney & Santorum: My fence will be bigger than your fence

President Obama said an amazing thing this week. He assured Latinos via Univision that he would have “five years” to address immigration — notwithstanding the fact that he has done nothing about it in his first three years.

At the same time, the surviving Republican candidates for president gathered in Arizona for a debate at which the leading contenders, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, went to their typical great lengths to prove that one would be “tougher” on illegal immigration than the other. Of course, in the process, they are continuing what appears to be a long-term project by too many Republicans to literally tell Hispanic voters to get lost.

Far be it from me, a two-term governor of a border state, to lecture a Massachusetts governor and a Pennsylvania senator on immigration. Or to point out the insult inherent in President Obama having sought the Latino vote four years ago with promises to deal with immigration — and now asking to be re-elected because he will fulfill that promise when he gets around to it in a second term.

But I must ask: Between a Democrat president who obviously doesn’t want to touch the new “third rail” of American politics and Republican candidates whose pandering will produce an immigration policy that consists of a really big fence, what hope do we have for a thoughtful, reasoned and common-sense solution to the problem of illegal immigration?

The irony — or embarrassment — here is that, with just a little political courage and reality-based policy, we could “fix” illegal immigration. First, the Republicans need to forget the fence. A big fence will only produce bigger ladders and more creative routes into the U.S. Second, they need to embrace the reality that illegal immigration is largely a factor of a market for immigrant labor that, in good economic times, is artificially and ridiculously restricted by the inability of willing workers to come here legally.

That reality is on full display right now. We actually have some in the government bragging that illegal immigration has been reduced dramatically in the past few years — bragging as though the reduction is some kind of border security success. Let’s be real: All the feds have proven is that the best way to cut down on illegal immigration is to have a recession and kill jobs. It works, but it’s a lousy and really costly solution.

Replace the dysfunctional system we have now with one that allows immigrants to easily obtain a work visa, and illegal immigration will become an issue largely confined to dealing with a small number of criminals we can handle without deploying the National Guard and really expensive drones. For the otherwise law-abiding immigrants simply coming here to work, we can then reasonably expect them to pay taxes, pay for health care and otherwise be contributors to society rather than burdens.

It’s really not that complicated — if we can just get the politicians to be adults and stop using millions of human beings as campaign props.

The Daily Caller

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